Aug 07 - Linuxworld Exhibitors Rev Their Engines In Anticipation
Of Meeting. IDG World Expo, the leading producer of world-class
tradeshows, conferences and events for IT markets, announced today
a number of prominent Linux and Open Source companies will launch
new technologies at LinuxWorld Conference & Expo. Attendees will
be able to investigate and review a bevy of solutions and evaluate
their ability to solve real business issues.
LinuxWorld Conference & Expo, the premier event exclusively focused
on Linux and Open Source solutions, will take place August 12-15,
2002 at San Francisco's Moscone Center. Keynote speakers include Scott
McNealy, chairman and CEO, Sun Microsystems; Larry Ellison, chairman
and CEO, Oracle Corporation; Sergey Brin, co-founder and president,
technology, Google, Inc.; and Douglas T. Elix, senior vice president
and group executive, IBM Global Services.
LinuxWorld will also feature a larger-than-ever Rookery, the event's
headquarters for new, up-and-coming companies. This year's Rookery,
which will feature 28 exhibitors from 12 different countries, is four
times larger than last year.
The excitement is building among LinuxWorld exhibitors ready to take
the wraps off of their latest solutions.
LinuxWorld exhibitors presenting new products include:
Borland (booth 455) will showcase Borland Kylix 3, the #1 Linux development
IDE*, delivering the first C++ and Borland Delphi integrated rapid
application development (RAD) solution for creating database, GUI,
Web, and Web Services applications for Linux (*Source: Evans Data
Cylant (booth R4) will introduce CylantSecure 2.0, which applies
a preventatative, behavioral approach to security, utilizing kernel
monitoring to detect attacks without the need for continual signature
or rule-set updates
ETRI (booth 540) will showcase its Linux-based Home Server platform
which provides entertainment, various home networking and control
& multimedia services, as well as its embedded Linux development
solutions including IDE and target builder.
LTrix Engineering (booth R11) will offer product demonstrations of
lice, a Linux kernel mode debugger for x86 that loads as a module
and provides remote (TCP/RS-232) source level kernel and module debugging
without patching the kernel source
Sangoma Technologies (booth 1491) will launch its S518 WANPIPE
ADSL card, an internal Broadband ADSL modem designed specifically
for all versions of Linux and FreeBSD, which enables Open Source server
manufacturers to provide integrated Broadband ADSL support
ShaoLin Microsystems (booth R2) will introduce CogoFS, a Linux-based
stackable compression file system with ShaoLin's Kypectec compression
engine that works in the kernel space, which delivers high performance,
easy migration and reliability, saving server disk space and speeding
network traffic by storing files in compressed form at the server
Sharp (booth 683) will demonstrate the Zaurus SL-5500, its Linux
/ Java PDA which will be sold on the show floor at a special discounted
developer price, and will also host various fun developer contests
during the show
X.org (booth .org 23) will demonstrate its Media Application Server
(MAS), which will bring a new standard, complete and fully-integrated
sound and multimedia capability to X and to the X Window System
In addition to these and other new products showcased on the show
floor, LinuxWorld Conference & Expo attendees can also check out
the substantial content that has made LinuxWorld one of the world's
premier IT events. Show highlights will include:
"Linux: The Foundation for the Enterprise": Red Hat CTO
Michael Tiemann and Amazon.com Director of Systems Engineering Jacob
Levanon will share details on Amazon.com's migration to Linux in this
special feature presentation.
Golden Penguin Bowl: The infamous geek trivia game that tests the
wits of some of today's most distinguished Linux personalities will
be hosted by Chris DiBona of the Open Source Development Network (OSDN).
"Linux Around the World" Series: These show floor presentations,
developed in conjunction with Linux International, will describe a
variety of special projects that use Linux and Open Source to bring
computers and technology to developing and rural areas around the
"Taste of Linux" Series: Attendees will learn about reasons
for converting to Linux, how their ROI will benefit, and the answer
to "what's this Linux thing all about anyway?" in these
show floor presentations.
Open Source Product Excellence Awards: UniForum and IDG World Expo
will present these awards to exhibitors showcasing the event's most
innovative products and services on the show floor.
"We're expecting great things to come out of next week's LinuxWorld
Conference & Expo," said Rob Scheschareg, vice president
of sales, marketing and product development, IDG World Expo. "From
high-profile speakers like Scott McNealy and Larry Ellison to the
presence of innovative new exhibitors like Freshwater Software and
LTrix Engineering, this event will mark an exciting time for the Linux
For registration information or to exhibit at LinuxWorld, visit www.linuxworldexpo.com.
Aug 07 - MINOLTA-QMS Sets New Price-Performance
For Laser Printer. MINOLTA-QMS, Inc. today introduced the PagePro(TM)
1250W, a 17 ppm laser printer designed for Microsoft(R) Windows(R)
users who need fast printing, have a tight budget and can't afford
to give up too much space.
The printer has an estimated street price of $199 making it the lowest-priced
17 ppm monochrome laser printer available on the market today. Designed
specifically for the Windows operating system, the PagePro 1250W features
1200 x 1200 dpi resolution and a 150-sheet multipurpose paper input
"The cost of high-speed, high-quality laser printing for the
small, home office has been too high for too long," said Steve
Fletcher, president and COO of MINOLTA-QMS, Inc. "Ink jet printers
are slow and most laser printers are big and expensive. Our new PagePro
1250W solves this dilemma. Now, our customers can have a laser printer
that really delivers more performance per square inch of desktop than
any other printer they can buy."
Best Print Speed for the Money - and for Its Size
The $199 PagePro 1250W prints up to 17 letter-size pages per minute.
No other laser printer at that price comes close to matching the performance
of the PagePro 1250W. Printers with the PagePro 1250W's speed can
take up a desktop to themselves. The revolutionary design of the PagePro
1250W now results in a very small footprint, just 248 square inches,
about the size of most desktop business ink jet printers. The PagePro
1250W is up to 70% faster than current desktop laser printers of a
The PagePro 1250W is available immediately through MINOLTA-QMS' worldwide
network of authorized distributors, resellers, and e-commerce partners.
To locate the reseller nearest you, visit the MINOLTA-QMS Web site
Aug 07 - Outlook for Alternatives to
Windows Operating System Growing. Microsoft Corp.'s Windows desktop
operating systems are and will remain the dominant client desktop
standard for the foreseeable future, but don't count Linux and Apple's
Mac OS/X out. That is the conclusion of a newly released Yankee Group
Report, "The Desktop OS: Are There Real Alternatives to Microsoft?,"
which finds that interest in alternatives to Microsoft's client operating
system is at the highest level in over a decade.
Apple's Macintosh has found a comfortable and committed niche among
enterprise customers with sophisticated graphics and production departments.
Linux, meanwhile, has gained a groundswell of support in the last
three to four years due to its appeal as the "un-Windows"
solution, according to Yankee Group senior analyst and Report author
"Corporate user resentment and dissatisfaction with Microsoft
and some of its practices are at an all-time high," DiDio said.
A myriad of issues ranging from Microsoft's perceived monopolistic
practices, hyperbolic marketing, ongoing security woes, and habitually
slipping ship dates of major new product releases as well as confusion
surrounding the overall .NET strategy have undermined corporate customer
confidence. A recent joint survey of 1,500 corporations by Sunbelt
Software, Inc. and the Yankee Group found that nearly 40% of the respondents
were so outraged by Microsoft's new licensing scheme that they are
actively seeking alternative products.
"This cumulative dissatisfaction will not necessarily translate
into corporate defections to rival operating systems. But it does
open the door a crack and raises the possibility that Linux and Macintosh
OS X can gain new footholds in an overwhelmingly Windows world,"
The Yankee Group can be found online at www.yankeegroup.com.
Aug 07 - VTech Delivers the World's
First 5.8 GHz Cordless Phone. VTech Communications, Inc. (a subsidiary
of VTech Holdings Ltd., SEHK: 303; London SE: VTH; ADR: VTKHY), a
demonstrated pioneer in cordless telephony since its introduction
of the world's first fully digital 900 MHz cordless telephone, announced
today the immediate availability of its revolutionary new VTech 5831
5.8 GHz cordless telephone.
Sure to be a hit with technology lovers, the VTech 5831 is the only
cordless telephone to operate in the newly available 5.8 GHz frequency
band. Until recently, this frequency had been reserved for commercial
broadband wireless applications because of its ability to carry data
transmissions at high speeds. Adding this powerful technology to the
proven Digital Spread Spectrum (DSS) technology in VTech's latest
phone design, accounts for the 5831 model's superior audio quality
The performance story behind this impressive new cordless telephone
doesn't end with 5.8 GHz and DSS. The VTech 5831 has an amazing number
of useful and user-friendly features. At the top of this list is a
built-in speakerphone on both the handset and the base unit. The speakerphone
turns the base unit into a fully functional stand-alone telephone
with its own keypad and LCD screen that displays Caller ID and Call
Waiting. Essentially, that means the VTech 5831 cordless telephone
If two phones aren't enough, the VTech 5831 system easily accommodates
up to six handsets - each communicating with the same base unit. The
magic of this system is that only the base unit needs to be plugged
into a phone jack. Beyond that, additional handsets only require a
power outlet and may be placed anywhere else in the house. That means
extra handsets can be easily placed in the den, in the attic, or even
in the garage (assuming the garage isn't in the next county!).
The VTech 5831 5.8 GHz cordless telephone is available now and carries
a suggested retail price of $199 for the starter package that includes
one base unit and handset. Additional handsets can be obtained for
a suggested retail price of $99 each.
For further information or to purchase a VTech 5831 cordless phone,
Aug 07 - tDevice Ships Q-Pad for Palm m500
Series Handhelds. tDevice (thinkDevice Company, www.tdevice.com)
today announced the first shipment of Q-Pad(TM) for Palm(TM) m500
series, a PDA accessory which combines the function of a protective
leather case, an integrated keyboard and a viewing stand for ultimate
productivity and portability in a single, easy-to-use package.
Approximately 3 x 5 inches in size and less than one inch thick when
coupled with a PDA, the new Q-Pad for Palm m500 Series is the smallest,
thinnest PDA accessory of its kind, and comes in an industrial strength
yet stylish armored leather case. The Q-Pad for m500 Series is fully
compatible with applications supporting Palm 500/505/515 and Palm
OS for PC or Mac. Its dedicated numeric keypad and 60-key QWERTY keypad,
including programmable hot keys and special function keys, provide
any Road Warrior with the powerful productivity environment of true
"Q-Pad is a must-have accessory for any mobile professional,"
said Robert Hahn, Marketing Director at thinkDevice Company. "While
snap-on thumb boards of all kind are flooding the market, Q-Pad is
the only one that is both compact and functional. Since it doubles
as a PDA case, you don't have to remember to bring it along with you
and it doesn't get in the way when you don't need it. This is true
Take Anywhere, Type Anytime technology!"
The price of the Q-Pad is $69.99 and includes the Q-Pad, driver software,
a user's manual and a one-year warranty. The Q-Pad is available for
purchase at participating retail outlets nationwide, or it can be
purchased online at www.tdevice.com.
Aug 06 - Toshiba Satellite 1405-S171
Offers Top Performance at Affordable Price.Toshiba CSG today announced
the new Satellite 1405-S171. Providing a hassle-free optional upgrade
to wireless connectivity and priced at $1,499, the Satellite 1405-S171
is ideal for students, budget-conscious consumers and small- to medium-sized
business owners looking for a powerful, feature-rich notebook.
Equipped with a 15-inch diagonal TFT display and 16MB of dedicated
graphics memory, the Satellite 1405-S171 provides a high-quality multimedia
experience without breaking a budget.
The Satellite 1405-S171 also includes a built-in DVD-ROM/CD-RW multi-function
drive, a powerful new Intel(R) Celeron(R) 1.50GHz processor and an
array of multimedia features making it the perfect choice for computer
users searching for top performance and functionality at an affordable
For additional information about Toshiba's Satellite 1405-S171, visit
Aug 06 - Infineon Announces Volume Production
of 256Mbit Mobile-RAM. Infineon Technologies (FSE/NYSE:IFX) today
announced it has broadened its portfolio of Low-Power DRAMs and is
now in volume production of 256Mbit Mobile-RAM memory chips, which
are available in chip-size Fine-pitch Ball Grid Array (FBGA) and Thin
Small Outline packages (TSOP).
Due to its 50 percent smaller footprint and reduced power consumption
compared to both standard SDRAM and simpler, reduced voltage low-power
DRAM, Infineon's Mobile-RAM is ideally suited for applications in
handheld electronics. Power consumption of Mobile-RAM in stand-by
mode is less than half of a conventional DRAM. Now available in both
128Mbit and 256Mbit density, Mobile-RAM is designed to serve as main
memory in systems such as PDAs, Smart-Phones, Web-Pads and Digital-Cameras.
Mobile-RAM operates at 2.5V core voltage and 1.8V (or 2.5V) for the
I/O in contrast to conventional 3.3V SDRAM. Additional power management
features like Temperature Compensated Self Refresh (TCSR) and Partial
Array Self Refresh (PASR) further reduce power consumption significantly.
Partial Array Self Refresh limits the self-refresh operation only
to parts of the memory that contain data. Temperature Compensated
Self-Refresh adjusts the refresh rate to the temperature of the device,
the lower the temperature the lower the refresh rate, and thus additional
Compared to DRAMs mounted in the standard TSOP package, the footprint
of the Mobile-RAM is reduced by more than half when using the 8mm
x 12mm Chip-Scale-Package (CSP). The Fine-pitch Ball Grid Array used
for the Mobile-RAM is based on Infineon's proprietary wire-bonding
Board-on-Chip technology (BOC) which combines the rigidity of the
inexpensive lead-frame bonding techniques with the space-saving features
"This new 256Mbit device is the second product on our Mobile-RAM
roadmap which will soon be extended to the 512Mbit generation,"
said Dr. Ernst Strasser, Director of Marketing for Graphics and Specialty
DRAM at Infineon. "The Mobile-RAM is one more example of Infineon's
strategy to offer products that meet growing demand for specialty
DRAM in the information and communication market segment."
Additional information about Infineon's Mobile-RAM can be found at
Aug 06 - Computer FireWire Burning Slower.
As predicted, the IEEE 1394 high-speed digital interface is continuing
to make gains in consumer electronics markets, according to In-Stat/MDR
The high-tech market research firm reports that, although PC-based
products with 1394 have historically comprised the majority of shipments,
in 2001 consumer products overtook PC-based products.
Solid growth will continue, with total 1394 devices growing by 21%
in 2002, as the interface penetrates more models in the retail PC,
digital camcorder, and other consumer electronics markets, and emerges
into new applications such as automotive.
However, while the breadth of applications for 1394 ultimately points
to a huge opportunity, it also results in significant industry conflicts,
punctuated by legislative and regulatory involvement. The realization
of this potential market will be incremental, as both business models
and technologies develop over the next 3-5 years.
The major market inhibitors are interface alternatives, including
USB 2.0, a lack of current applications beyond digital video editing,
and the current tech slump. The consumer electronics (CE) market faces
the most significant market barriers, the primary of which is copy
protection of copyrighted video. As 1394 will ultimately carry digital
video, content protection is a critical issue.
Finally, as peer-to-peer is a major advantage of 1394, interoperability
remains a significant challenge in the CE market.
In-Stat/MDR also found that:
-- The total market for devices with 1394 grew by 33% to over 46
million units in 2001.
-- USB 2.0 is beginning to make headway in the PC market,
impacting 1394 demand to some degree in the long term. It will
continue to develop as the chief high-speed PC peripheral
interface alternative to 1394.
-- In 2001, notebook PC OEMs continued to include 1394 at a
significant pace. This uptake rate is expected to continue to
increase over the next several years.
Aug 06 - Use of Competitive Local Phone
Providers On The Rise. Competitive local phone providers (CLECs)
continue to increase their penetration in both the consumer and business
telecom markets, despite widely reported financial woes in the telecommunications
industry, according to telecom market information gathered by Taylor
Nelson Sofres (TNS) Telecoms.
Consumer research from TNS Telecom's Bill Harvesting(R) shows that
during the 12 months ending March 31, 2002, CLEC penetration of U.S.
households grew from 7.8 percent in the first quarter of 2001 to 10.3
percent in the first quarter of 2002 - an increase of almost 32 percent.
At the same time TNS Telecom's BusinessWave(R) research shows a rise
of 22 percent in CLEC penetration in the business telecom market -
from 23 percent in the first quarter of 2001 to 28 percent at the
close of the first quarter of 2002.
During the 12-month period, households and firms using CLECs for
their local telephone service spent more per month for telecommunications
services than households using an incumbent provider (ILEC) such as
the former Regional Bell Operating Companies. On average, a residential
household using a CLEC spent $142.69 per month on all telecommunications
services (local, regional toll, calling card, long distance, wireless,
cable/satellite TV and Internet access), while households using an
ILEC spent only $136.40 per month, almost a 5 percent difference.
Even more notably, businesses using CLECs spent 110 percent more,
on average, than businesses using ILECs, spending an average of $870.48
monthly, while ILEC customers spent an average of $414.02.
"As the number of CLEC customers grows, we are beginning to
get a complete picture of the differences between CLEC and ILEC customers,"
said Charles White, Vice President at TNS Telecoms. "In general,
consumers using a competitive local provider are younger, have larger
families and spend more on telecom services when compared to customers
using an ILEC. This information will be helpful in exploring the future
of a more competitive telecom marketplace and its customers."
TNS Telecoms can be found online at www.tnstelecoms.com.
Aug 06 - Dell Servers Power World's Largest
Search Engine. Fast Search & Transfer(TM) (FAST), a leading
developer of search and real-time alert technologies, has used Dell
(Nasdaq: DELL) servers and storage systems to attain the title of
the world's largest search engine.
FAST recently announced that AlltheWeb.com(TM), the company's search
technology showcase, delivers search results from a catalog of more
than 2.1 billion Web pages, making it the world's most comprehensive
"We are constantly expanding our services to keep up with the
ongoing growth of the Web and to deliver some of the most advanced
search solutions available today," said Dr. John M. Lervik, chief
executive officer of FAST. "Using Dell systems exclusively in
our data center helps FAST provide our customers an extremely reliable
service, and supports our business objective of delivering a high
quality search experience on the Web."
From AlltheWeb.com's formal launch in 1999, Dell systems have powered
this next-generation search engine from FAST. Since then, FAST has
escalated AlltheWeb.com's search capability from 80 million Web pages
in 1999 to more than 2.1 billion today. The company has built a data
center using more than 1,000 Dell PowerEdge servers and Dell PowerVault
storage systems providing nearly 200 terabytes of storage.
Visit www.fastsearch.com for more
information or see FAST in action at www.alltheweb.com.
Information on Dell and its products can be obtained at www.dell.com.
Aug 05 -NEC Brings First Ecological Desktop
to U.S. Market. Today, NEC Solutions (America), Inc., a leading
provider of business solutions and services for the high-end commercial
and professional markets in North America, introduced the PowerMate
eco, the first all-in-one, fanless ecological PC.
addresses such problems as lead content, fan noise, heat generation,
footprint size, recyclable and material composition usually found
in traditional desktop PCs. The PowerMate eco is also designed with
laptop components to keep the overall footprint small and power requirements
down, while delivering high functionality required in a variety of
work environments. The announcement marks the first time a major computer
manufacturer has created a PC specifically to address the growing
environmental and workplace problems associated with traditional desktop
The PowerMate eco includes a 15" TFT LCD flat panel screen that
does not contain the boron commonly found in traditional CRT monitors.
The unit also contains a motherboard made with lead-free solder, which
protects both the individuals involved in reclamation, and the ground
water in case of disposal.
In addition, the PowerMate eco is also made of NuCycleTM plastic -
an NEC patented plastic that is 100% recyclable. NuCycle is made of
polycarbonate resin mixed with a special, flame-retardant silicone
compound. Other computer plastics have flame retardant brominated
coatings applied, which do retard flames, but produce harmful gases
in the process. NuCycle's flame retardant is non-toxic and built-in,
requiring no toxic coating.
The PowerMate eco incorporates a 900MHz TransmetaTM CrusoeTM processor
equipped with a 20GB1 hard drive and a 15-inch TFT LCD flat panel
display into a footprint 11.5"(w) x 8.9"(d) weighing in
at 16.5 pounds (without AC adapter, keyboard or mouse).
With fanless design combined with a Fluid Dynamic Bearing (FDB) motor
in the hard drive, the FDB quiets the drive and results in a noise
level about the same as a whisper (approximately 20db). Additional
features include 256MB (640MB Max) of memory to enhance overall system
performance and functionality, as well as a built-in RJ-44 LAN jack
for quick network and Internet connections.
A standard configuration of the PowerMate eco includes a 900MHz
Transmeta Crusoe Processor, a 15.0" XGA TFT LCD flat panel display,
256MB memory, 20GB hard drive, Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional
and Windows® 2000 Professional, starting at $1,599.
For more information, go to www.necsolutions-am.com/mobilesolutions.
Aug 05 - Hewlett-Packard Surpasses Palm
in Worldwide PDA Revenue. The worldwide PDA market experienced
a slight increase in revenue, as PDA shipments experienced a single-digit
decline in the second quarter of 2002, according to preliminary results
from Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB).
Worldwide PDA end-user revenue in the second quarter of 2002 totaled
$902 million, a 1.5 percent increase from the second quarter of 2001
when end-user revenue totaled $889 million (see Table 1). PDA shipments
reached 2.7 million units, a 3.5 percent decline from the second quarter
of last year when shipments reached 2.8 million units.
The combination of Hewlett-Packard and Compaq was barely enough
to surpass Palm for the No. 1 position in PDA market revenue in the
second quarter of 2002.
"Palm and HP did not ship in volume any new models during the
quarter. The decline in Jornada and iPAQ shipments from a year ago
is largely a result of economic conditions, relatively high prices
and lack of diversity across their product line. Customer anticipation
of new Pocket PC models based on Intel's XScale microarchitecture
also delayed some sales," said Todd Kort, principal analyst for
Gartner Dataquest. "Likewise, the release of Palm's OS 5 in early
June is putting a damper on sales in this category until new PDAs
using this software and new ARM-based processors are ready in a few
Palm continued to lead the industry in terms of unit shipments,
as it shipped nearly double the volume of HP in the second quarter
of 2002. Palm accounted for 30.3 percent of all units shipped, while
HP had 16.0 percent of worldwide shipments in the quarter. Both vendors
shipped substantially fewer units compared to the same quarter a year
In the U.S. market, Palm captured more than 40 percent market share,
with Sony, HP and Handspring close together but well behind Palm (see
Table 3). Sony introduced six new models so far this year and as of
late July it has all the major price points covered.
"Sony made a big splash with the Clie NR70V, which integrates
a tiny digital camera," Kort said. "Toshiba is benefiting
from the excellent price/performance and slim form factor of its e310,
and the new e740 is also off to a strong start. Toshiba made significant
progress by greatly expanding its reseller base. Handspring continues
its gradual withdrawal from the PDA market, focusing instead on smartphones,
but it leveraged the small Treo form factor with the new Treo 90."
PDA OS shares were largely unchanged from a year ago. Palm OS PDAs
captured 50 percent of the worldwide PDA market in the second quarter
of 2002, with approximately 1.35 million units shipped. Vendors of
Microsoft Windows CE PDAs held nearly 28 percent of the worldwide
market, up 2.6 share points from a year ago. Proprietary OS devices,
especially popular in Asian markets, were steady at about 20 percent
of the worldwide PDA industry.
Geographically, the U.S. market accounted for 48 percent of worldwide
PDA shipments in the second quarter of 2002. The Asia/Pacific region
was second with approximately 20 percent of the market, followed by
Western Europe, which had 18 percent of PDA shipments in the quarter.
For more information, visit www.gartner.com.
Aug 05 - Demand for ebooks Heats Up.
In response to increased consumer demand, leading online retailers,
eBooks.com and Fictionwise.com have expanded their inventory to include
hundreds of titles in the popular Microsoft Reader(TM) format.
Mobile users can browse and purchase best-selling titles from leading
publishers such as McGraw-Hill, Random House, Harper Collins and many
others. After purchasing, customers can download and read their eBooks
on desktop PCs, laptops and Pocket PC 2002 devices with Microsoft
Reader 2.0 installed. Both companies are part of OverDrive Content
Reserve -- a worldwide marketplace of eBook retailers who can choose
from thousands of premium eBook titles for secure online distribution
through their stores.
Clifford Guren, Group Product Manager, eReading, Microsoft said,
"We're delighted that two pioneers of eBook retailing are now
selling Microsoft Reader titles, enabling their customers to experience
the ease and clarity of reading eBooks with ClearType. Their support
adds significantly to the growing momentum of the eBooks industry."
eBooks.com has been selling electronic books exclusively in Adobe
Acrobat PDF format for over two years. "We decided to add Microsoft
Reader titles to our inventory because it is the format of choice
for our mobile and connected customers," said Suzanne Cole, Manager,
Acquisitions & Publisher Relations at eBooks.com. "The small
file sizes are perfect for fast downloading onto a Pocket PC. We are
delighted with the enthusiastic reception for our current inventory
of Microsoft Reader titles that we've received from our customers,"
"Fictionwise is excited to be working with OverDrive. By participating
in Content Reserve, we can offer and deliver thousands of quality
titles in Microsoft Reader format through our eBookstore," said
Scott Pendergrast, co-owner of Fictionwise.com. "We have over
50,000 members growing at a rate of 2,000 to 3,000 per month. As a
result we're seeing steady double digit growth in sales and OverDrive
is helping Fictionwise keep up with demand," he said.
The companies can be found online at www.eBooks.com
Aug 05 - Free eBook Locator Launches For
Consumers. OverDrive, Inc. today launched eBook Locator(TM) (www.ebooklocator.com)
-- a free, Web-based search tool for locating commercially available
eBook titles in leading digital formats.
As the most authoritative resource for consumers and eBook buying
communities, eBook Locator offers up-to-the-minute information on
tens of thousands of eBooks from over 400 publishers worldwide. The
service powered is by OverDrive, Inc., whose renowned Content Reserve(R)
Digital Content Marketplace is the leading clearinghouse of digital
inventory in the world.
eBook Locator provides a wealth of real-time data about eBooks in
the most popular formats for PCs and PDAs including Microsoft Reader,
Adobe Acrobat eBook Reader (PDF) and Palm Reader. Each eBook record
includes information on where to purchase the title immediately with
links to a network of leading online eBooksellers including Barnes
and Noble.com, WHSmith Online, eBooks.com, Fictionwise, eFollett.com
and more in the US and abroad.
"OverDrive's Content Reserve is the most comprehensive source
for eBook title data, including covers, jacket copy, table of contents,
excerpts, and author information in the publishing industry,"
stated Pamela Turner, Director of Content for OverDrive. "Content
Reserve also provides other pertinent data including digital rights
information (DRM), license terms, file size, and which PC or PDA devices
for which a title is designed.
Our inventory is growing rapidly, with more than 500 titles added
to the database each week," Ms. Turner added. "eBookLocator.com
is an important enhancement to our industry and illustrates how eBooks
are continuing to grow in adoption and acceptance," said Nicholas
Bogaty, Executive Director of the Open eBook Forum, an industry trade
and standards body serving the publishing, book, and technology communities.
"By providing current bibliographic data 24/7, consumers, librarians
and researchers can get the information they need quickly and easily.
It's a tool that everyone who reads and buys eBooks will come to rely
on," he added.
Aug 04 - Sunday Shopping Watch.
Best Sunday Deals - Almost all desktops and notebooks
were good buys in the categories we follow. (See our Best
Sunday Ad Deals Table below for specific system prices.)
Weekly Comparison. Computer system prices went
down a little this week, but not much lower than there usual average
Notebooks - The HP Athlon 1400+ with DVD/CD-RD
drive at $1099 is a better buy than a low priced Duron or Celeron
Desktops - No low price Celerons were advertised this week,
the Compaq 1.4 GHz complete system was
advertised by Circuit City for $749 with DVD/RW combo drive.
Prices remained about average for Pentium 4 and AMD Athlon XP desktops.
This Sunday's Special Discounts and Financing.
In addition to sales on specific items, the following store-wide sales
are advertised this week. (Note that these
ads are for the Dayton, Ohio area. Prices or offerings may be different
where you live.)
BestBuy is offering 6 months of free MSN with any computer purchase.
Additionally, they are giving $100 mail-in rebates on all desktop
packages, $150 mail-in rebates on all notebooks, and a $100 gift card
with any Pentium 4 or Athlon XP desktop package. They are also offering
12 months of no interest financing on all computers $599 and up.
Circuit City is giving away
12 months of free CompuServe on any in-store computer purchase. In
addition they are offering 12 months no interest financing on all
desktop packages and notebooks.
has 6 month no interest, no payment financing for purchases over $298.
CompUSA is offering 3 months
of free AOL with laptop/desktop purchase. They are also advertising
no payment/no interest financing for 6 months on any HP product purchase
Staples has no store-wide computer promotions
this week. Individual items may be on sale.
to Online Prices - Compare the Sunday ad prices to
those being offered at DealTime, it searches over 160 online computer
Shopping Alert on Lower Priced
Desktops. Many lower priced Celeron/Duron desktops made
by almost all computer manufacturers should be carefully investigated
Most of these low priced desktops have no AGP video expansion slot,
no onboard dedicated video RAM, no CD-RW drive, and very few empty
PCI expansion slots. These computers will be very difficult to upgrade,
and they have poorer performance than other desktops that do not have
integrated audio and video chips on the motherboard.
Often by spending $200-$400 more for a Pentium 4 or Athlon XP based
system, you can get twice the performance, more features, and you
will have an upgradeable computer that will serve you well for another
If you choose the $700 Celeron/Duron system to save a few bucks, keep
in mind that in a year or two you will probably want to replace it.
Note on the "Loaded Celeron" Intel
Celerons at speeds of 1.7 GHz or faster are potentially upgradeable
to Pentium 4 processors. Slower Celerons are not socket compatible
with the Pentium 4.
These faster Celeron systems are more like a low end Pentium 4 system
as they often include: 400 MHz bus speed, DDR RAM, CD-RW or DVD drives,
and flat screen monitors.
About Windows XP. It has been a little over 9
months since Windows XP began to be bundled with new computers. Windows
XP became available for separate purchase on October 25, 2001. For
more information on Windows XP see our Windows
XP Upgrade Guide.
Internet Rebates. Most stores are no longer
advertising 3 year Internet rebates. Check with your local store before
you buy. Please see our article, What
You Need to Know About Internet Rebates and Free PCs, for an in-depth
discussion of Internet Rebates.
Definitions. A complete desktop system/package/complete
package is defined as a computer with monitor and printer
A build-to-order system is customized at the retailer
and then ordered from a computer manufacturer. In addition to the
computer's stated price, you still pay sales tax and shipping charges
(if you order direct from the vendor without going through the chain
store, you may not have to pay sales tax and you could get a better
Caution about advertised prices.
When reading advertisements, read the fine print of the ad to make
sure you know what is being advertised and what it cost. For example,
many advertisers will show a complete system with computer, monitor,
and printer but advertise a price for the computer only.
* Prices discussed in this article. We report
prices after rebates and discounts are subtracted.
Items highlighted in Black are good deals.
Items highlighted in Red means prices have
gone up and the system is not a good buy this week.
Items in normal text means prices are about the same as the previous
Best Ad Deals this Sunday
Price* (see above)
Best Celeron Deal
HP 1.4 GHz complete
system w DVD/CD-RW combo drive
Best Celeron Deal
Sony 1.7 GHz complete
system w DVD/CD-RW
Best Low-cost Pentium 4
HP 2.0 GHz complete system
Best High-end Pentium 4 System
Sony 2 GHz complete system
Best Buy, Circuit City
Best Low-cost Athlon XP System
Compaq 2000+ complete system (a very basic
Best High-end Athlon XP System
Compaq Athlon 2100+ complete system
Best Low-cost Notebook
HP Athlon XP 1400+ with DVD/CD-RW
Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba Pentium 4-M 2.0 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
Best Sunday Deal
Sony DVD-RW/CD-RW drive
$399 (after rebates)
Best Sunday Deal
Maxtor 60 GB, 7200 RPM hard drive
$79 (after rebates)
Additional Information. For additional technical
information, advice on how to buy a laptop or desktop, and vendor
and manufacturer links, please see our Computer
Buying Advice page.
About Sunday Shopping Watch. Sunday Shopping
Watch appears every Sunday (except some holidays like Easter and Christmas)
in our News and Rumors column. It is a review of local (Dayton, Ohio)
computer chain store advertisements. While we can not guarantee your
local chain store has the same items, this article can help you make
informed buying decisions.
Aug 02 - Sharp Introduces Its
Largest LCD Desktop Monitor. Sharp Systems of America, a division
of Sharp Electronics Corporation, has announced the newest member
of its premium LCD monitor line, the LL-T2010W.
This monitor is capable of displaying a true resolution of 1.9 Megapixels
(1600x1200), making it ideal for professional applications such as
computer-aided design (CAD) and video editing. Joining the recently
announced LL-T1820 and LL-T1520 (18-inch and 15-inch respectively),
the LL-T2010W augments the Sharp line of performance-enhanced LCD
Sharp is an industry leader in LCD color imaging technology and this
latest announcement adds to the diverse line of high quality, budget
priced LCD displays ideal for small office, home office, government,
education, creative professional, and/or corporate users.
"The LL-T2010W features a unique Sharp LCD panel technology,
ASV, to provide excellent off-axis imaging with minimum chroma shift
within its symmetrical viewing cone of 170 degrees," explained
Herb Berkwits, director of LCD business development at Sharp Systems
of America. "This technology also yields the high pixel response
speed necessary to display games, video, and other dynamic media making
it a perfect display for professionals operating in these markets."
The Sharp-manufactured LCD panel used in the LL-T2010W monitor features
AGLR, a multi-layer surface treatment that reduces reflectance to
approximately one-third that of a conventional LCD by means of optical
cancellation, thus maintaining superior contrast, velvety blacks,
and fully saturated colors even in brightly-lit environments. A comprehensive
set of color controls, including an sRGB setting, ensures the user
that the colors seen on the screen represent the original data as
closely as possible. One-touch controls for synchronization and color
gain produce optimized images with little fuss. A locking function
for the controls prevents the settings from being misadjusted.
The LL-T2010W may be switched between two computers, and its dual
inputs accommodate analog or digital (DVI) interface for maximum flexibility
in configuring new and existing installations. Its integrated USB
hub simplifies peripheral installation and eliminates desktop clutter.
A clever "garage" in the base holds the power supply, which
can be removed and used externally if the monitor is mounted on an
articulated arm or on a wall mount.
The LL-T2010W is available for an estimated street price of $2,099
and is available through Sharp Systems of America's network of resellers
or by going online at http://www.sharpplace.com.
Aug 02 -Fujifilm Announces Digital Cameras
with xD-Picture Card Storage. Meeting the needs of today's digital
photographers, Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc., unveils five Finepix
digital cameras, all using the new ultra-compact, high-capacity xD-Picture
The new cameras -- the user-friendly FinePix A200 and FinePix 2650,
the sleek FinePix A203 and FinePix A303 and the powerful FinePix 3800
- and the new memory card will all be available at retail this September.
Going Digital for the First Time
The FinePix A200 and FinePix 2650 are perfect for the first-time
digital picture-taker seeking an easy-to-use camera that has a similar
look and feel to a traditional film camera with the added advantage
of digital features. As 2.0 million effective pixel cameras, both
allow for the development of crisp and colorful pictures up to 8 x
10 inches in size. In addition, the inclusion of a 3x optical zoom
(available in the FinePix 2650 only), low power consumption through
the use of two AA Alkaline batteries, movie recording and video conferencing
capabilities make these cameras an excellent value at a price of $179.95
and $249.99 respectively.
User Friendly with Room to Grow
Fujifilm also introduces two additional models to its line of user-friendly
A-Series digital cameras: the FinePix A203 and FinePix A303. These
sleek and stylish, easy-to-use cameras are among the slimmest for
entry-level digital photographers desiring to grow and advance in
digital photography. Both cameras are packed with added features such
as a 3x optical zoom and video conferencing capabilities. The FinePix
A303 also boasts a 3.24 million effective pixel CCD for extra color
and picture clarity, ultra-fast processing speed, a macro focus for
shooting close up images and an added flash range. The FinePix A203
will be available at a price of $279.99 and the FinePix A303 will
be available at a price of $349.99.
Shoot Like a Pro
Building on the success of the popular FinePix 2800 Zoom, Fujifilm
offers advanced features and controls in addition to point-and-shoot
convenience with the new FinePix 3800. At a suggested retail price
of $449.99, this 3.24 million effective pixel camera offers a variety
of higher-end photographic features including a manual mode with aperture
control and exposure compensation, a 6x optical zoom and support for
lens adaptors. This added flexibility provides the shooter a variety
of picture-taking options, thus enhancing the overall digital photography
PCMCIA and CompactFlash card adapters will be available, allowing
use of xD-Picture Card in a variety of cameras and other devices.
More information on the xD-Picture Card can be found in our July
31st story, Fujifilm
Introduces the xD-Picture Flash Memory Card.
More information on these new cameras can be found at Fujifilm USA
Aug 02 - PC Market Consumes 30% More
GPUs than CPUs. According to Jon Peddie Research (JPR), graphics
processors out ship CPUs while prices within the PC market continue
to be pressured downward.
Findings from JPR's Market Watch report indicate 30% of the computers
that ship have two graphics devices for every x86-based processor.
This, the report points out, has helped to keep the smaller suppliers
in the market.
"The maturation of the PC industry and the saturation of the
desktop market has lead to increased consolidation amongst PC graphics
suppliers," confirmed Lisa Epstein, senior analyst of JPR's Market
Watch report. "Today there are just eight suppliers and only
two with significant market share. The rest survive on the over-buy
of the industry, spot availability, aggressive pricing, and niche
On the notebook side, mobile display controllers accounted for 19%
of total graphics shipments in Q1'02, up from 17% in Q4'01 and from
14% in Q1'01. Most major suppliers now participate in the mobile segment,
recognizing its potential for growth. Likewise, chipsets with integrated
graphics are penetrating the mobile segment as suppliers increasingly
target the consumer market and strive to bring down notebook ASPs.
Jon Peddie Research estimates that 40.79 million graphics devices
shipped for all segments of the personal computer industry in the
first quarter of 2002. This represents a 5.2% increase from 38.78
million units shipped in Q4'01 and a 2.3% increase from 39.89 million
units shipped in the same period the previous year.
Of the graphics devices shipped in Q1'02, 33.06 million or 81% were
desktop controllers and 7.73 million or 19% were mobile display controllers.
Eight suppliers accounted for 99% of all graphics shipments during
Overall, the industry saw good growth in shipments for Q1'02 as compared
to the declines of the prior year. The outlook for Q2'02 is mixed,
however, as the industry enters a traditional seasonal slowdown, and
suppliers such as AMD, Apple, Intel, HP and IBM have all issued revised
guidance in the face of unexpected shortfalls going forward.
Jon Peddie Research can be found on the Web at www.jonpeddie.com.
Aug 02 - CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 11 Ships.
Corel Corporation (NASDAQ:CORL) (TSX:COR) today announced that CorelDRAW(R)
Graphics Suite 11 is now available on store shelves across North America.
CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 11 is a collection of professional graphics
tools designed to make graphic design work more creative, enjoyable
and fun. Available on both Mac(R) OS X and Windows(R) XP, customers
can upgrade to version 11 of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite for US$249.
Already an industry leader in interactive tools that let you see
results as you apply them, CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 11 features a
wide array of new features and enhancements that are designed to increase
ease of use while also deliver the power to create professional designs.
Included in the suite is CorelDRAW(R) 11, Corel PHOTO-PAINT(R) 11
and Corel R.A.V.E.(TM) 2.
"I wholeheartedly suggest that every single user of CorelDRAW
upgrade as soon as possible," said Foster Coburn, webmaster of
unleash.com and author of six best-selling CorelDRAW books. "I've
never said that with any previous release and I don't feel I'm going
out on a limb here."
CorelDRAW 11 - This new version introduces a variety of tools to
assist in basic drawing, including the Polyline tool, Roughen and
Smudge brushes, and the 3-Point drawing tools for creating Ellipses,
Rectangles and curves.
Corel PHOTO-PAINT - 11 New tools for creating Web elements and editing
photos and images are introduced in this new version of the new version
of the suite's bitmap editing application. Some of these new features
include the new CutOut tool, Image Slicing and Rollover creation and
Red-Eye Removal tool.
Corel R.A.V.E. 2 - The second version of Corel's vector animation
tool focuses on lowering file size and extending functionality. New
features include support for Symbols, more interactive behaviors and
new Tweening capabilities.
For more information on how CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 11 will make
graphic design more productive, streamlined, and enjoyable can be
found at www.corel.com/graphicssuite11.
Pricing and Availability
CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 11 will be available in late July for a
suggested retail price (SRP) of $529 US. Users of CorelDRAW 9 or CorelDRAW
10 Graphics Suite (Windows), CorelDRAW 8 Graphics Suite (Macintosh(R)),
Corel GRAPHICS SUITE 10 for Macintosh, CorelDRAW 9 Office Edition
(Windows), as well as users of Corel(R) DESIGNER(TM) 9, can purchase
CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 11 at the upgrade SRP of US$249.
Aug 02 - DealTime User Base Surges 44
Percent. DealTime(R), the world's leading online shopping search
engine, today announced that the number of visitors to its website
has grown 44 percent since the beginning of this year, making it the
third largest shopping directory and guide on the Internet according
The top 3 list also includes Yahoo! Shopping and MSN eShop. In addition,
DealTime ranks among the top five overall shopping destinations, based
on Nielsen//NetRatings' custom analysis, excluding travel sites, along
with Amazon, Yahoo Shopping, eBay and MSN Shopping. Separately, DealTime
announced that it has reached 21 million U.S. Internet shoppers during
the November 2001 to April 2002 timeframe according to Nielsen//NetRatings'
"The tremendous growth we've seen in traffic is due in part
to our alliances with other leading portals, including AltaVista,
Lycos and Excite Network. By providing shopping search functionality
for these sites, more and more people are coming to know and benefit
from DealTime's best-of-breed shopping search service," said
Dan Ciporin, Chairman and CEO of DealTime. "The rise in our traffic
shows that consumers are increasingly using shopping search to choose
the products they want and select the merchant that best fills their
needs. We're also helping merchants boost their profits by connecting
them with millions of shoppers who have done their research and are
ready to make a purchase."
According to Nielsen//NetRatings, DealTime's U.S. traffic grew from
4,979,937 unique visitors in January 2002 to 7,156,099 in June 2002,
a 44 percent increase. "During the first half of this year, DealTime
has managed to grow faster than other eCommerce leaders, positioning
them well for the upcoming holiday shopping season," said Lisa
Strand, director and chief ecommerce analyst, NetRatings.
(Editorial Comment: DealTime drives our price comparison shopping
engine on InfoHQ.com, you can find our compare prices links in the
top and bottom menu bars.)
Aug 01 - PriceGrabber Lets Individuals Sell
Products. PriceGrabber, the Web's most innovative shopping site,
today introduced PriceGrabber Storefronts, a new service that allows
sellers of any size to list products for sale on PriceGrabber.com.
Product offerings from individuals, small businesses and entrepreneurs
issued through PriceGrabber Storefronts will be available to the active
audience of shoppers PriceGrabber attracts daily. Backed by Storefronts
Transaction Protection Policy, buyers and sellers can safely conduct
business in this new online marketplace.
According to Jupiter Research, the global leader in Internet and
new technology analysis and measurement, an estimated $11 billion
worth of goods will be sold by consumers to consumers over the Internet
this year and is expected to grow to $17 billion by 2006. PriceGrabber
is the first online shopping guide to tap into this growing group
of people by allowing individuals, in addition to established merchants,
access to the lucrative audience of shoppers drawn to the popular
site. On average, PriceGrabber refers sales of $18 million of computer
hardware each day, 100 notebook computers each hour and 6 digital
cameras each minute to online sellers.
A straightforward process guides sellers in listing new, refurbished
or used products as available for sale. The seller clicks on the red
"Sell Yours Here!" button featured on every product page
in PriceGrabber's directory of over 1.5 million items across eight
After submitting a description, setting a price and selecting shipping
and payment options, the PriceGrabber Storefronts listing will be
available for all PriceGrabber visitors to reviews and purchase. Buyers
may then click through PriceGrabber to purchase the item directly
from the Storefronts seller. As part of the item description and condition
page, buyers may also submit questions about the product that the
seller answers online; the resulting dialog will remain on the page
as reference for future buyers.
In an effort to safeguard PriceGrabber Storefronts buyers and sellers,
PriceGrabber has implemented a fraud protection policy backed by Lloyd's
London to shield both sides of the transaction. Upon completion of
a transaction, the site offers additional safety measures by implementing
a feedback system where parties may post comments about the buyer
or seller for future PriceGrabber visitors to read. Costs for using
PriceGrabber are attractive as well. PriceGrabber charges no listing
fees and collects $0.99 plus 7.5% of the item price only after the
product is sold. PriceGrabber assesses buyers no fees for purchasing
from a Storefronts seller.
"Bringing active buyers and sellers together in a new forum
is the next natural step in meeting the needs of our customer base,"
said Kamran Pourzanjani, president of PriceGrabber. "Based on
the interest we have from people and small businesses wishing to become
PriceGrabber merchants, we foresee many individuals and entrepreneurships
using this sales channel to maximize their profits."
The company can be found online at www.pricegrabber.com.
Aug 01 - New PayPal Wizard for Microsoft
FrontPage. PayPal, Inc. (Nasdaq:PYPL), a leading Internet payment
service, today announced integration of its popular e-commerce payment
solution with the Microsoft FrontPage 2002 website creation and management
tool, enabling simple credit card processing and subscription billing
services for FrontPage web developers.
"Millions of people use PayPal to accept credit cards and sell
their products and services online. Now anyone with an email address
can open an online business quickly and easily using FrontPage and
PayPal," said Dave McClure, director of the PayPal Developer
Network (PDN). "In just six months, more than 50,000 developers
have joined PDN and are now building PayPal-compatible solutions for
their online businesses and customers."
"The 1-2-3 PayPal Purchase Button Wizard for Microsoft FrontPage
is a great way to get started selling products and services on the
Internet," said Giovanni Mezgec, FrontPage lead product manager,
Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT). "PayPal has made it extremely easy for
FrontPage users to build inexpensive e-commerce solutions and add
credit card processing to their websites."
The wizard enables FrontPage users to make their websites e-commerce-ready
in just three quick steps: (1) specify an email address to receive
payments, (2) use the wizard to create a PayPal payment button for
the product or service for sale, and (3) publish the new website using
FrontPage. In addition to one-click purchasing and a built-in shopping
cart, the wizard also provides functionality for collecting donations,
subscriptions and recurring billing.
The "1-2-3 PayPal Purchase Button Wizard for Microsoft FrontPage"
is a free FrontPage add-in wizard developed by Auction Messenger,
a leading developer of Windows-based utilities for managing eBay(TM)
auctions. The wizard is now available for download from the PayPal
Developer Network site (www.paypal.com/pdn)
and from the Microsoft FrontPage Add-in Center (http://www.microsoft.com/frontpage/downloads/addin/).
Aug 01 - iDEFENSE Pinpoints Top Wireless
Vulnerabilities. iDEFENSE, the security intelligence provider,
today released its first wireless 'insecurity' report, detailing the
top threats facing users of wireless networks and simple, but effective
ways, to better protect them - immediately.
Know the Risks and Plan Carefully
-- Wireless networks carry unique risks that must be assessed and
mitigated before they are added to the infrastructure.
-- Don't rely solely on the standard Wired Equivalent Privacy
(WEP) encryption; it's a reasonable first step, but not
private enough, because it wasn't designed to be a security
-- Segregate wireless networks. Traffic should not be allowed to
pass openly between wireless and wired local area networks.
Internal firewalls should separate the networks and require
strong authentication before traffic is permitted to pass
-- Be careful where you place wireless access points. Avoid
transmitting the signal to public places, like parking lots or
adjacent buildings from access points on outside walls.
Use the Tools at Hand to Protect The Rest of Your Network
-- Upgrade software and firmware when vendors release the latest
-- Change the manufacturers' default settings, including IP
addresses, network names and passwords; information about
these settings is widely distributed online and in vendor
documentation. Hackers can use them to access and reconfigure
-- Avoid descriptive names for access points and networks such as
company name, address, etc. These types of labels give hackers
clues for tracking down the source of the signal.
-- Require that users know the service set ID for your network,
in order to join it. Don't rely on 'beacon packets,' which
broadcast locations and can be used by hackers to identify
wireless networks and determine the level of encryption.
-- Rotate encryption keys. It takes time to crack these and
revolving the keys reduces hackers' window of opportunity.
-- Hard code the MAC addresses for network cards permitted to
join the network to prevent unauthorized access to the
"With wireless networks proliferating at an increasing pace,
security measures will eventually catch up with demand," said
Kelly. "Today, though, the best offense is a zoned defense."
For more information visit the iDEFENSE Web site at www.iDEFENSE.com.
Aug 01 - SimpleTech Announces Bonzai Flash
USB Mini-Drive. SimpleTech, Inc. (Nasdaq:STEC), a leading manufacturer
of flash-based data storage and custom and standard memory solutions,
today announced the launch of the Bonzai USB Mini-Drive, the smallest
portable, removable flash storage solution currently available for
downloading, storing and transferring data between digital devices.
Measuring just 2.5-inches x 1.3-inches x 0.25-inches (LWD), Bonzai
offers storage capacity of 90 floppy disks in a sleek form factor
that can be conveniently carried in your pocket, purse or briefcase.
Bonzai plugs directly into a PC or Macintosh USB 1.1 port -- the
standard connection found on desktop and laptop computers since 2000
-- for safe, fast file transfer at 1.5MB/sec., or the flash card can
be inserted into a PDA, smart phone, MP3 player, digital still or
video camera, or any other device that uses an SD or MMC card. Bonzai's
direct transfer capability eliminates the need for external cables,
cords or cradles, as well as the security risks and slow download
times frequently encountered with e-mail or other Internet protocols.
Compatible with Windows 98SE/2000/MC/XP and MacOS 8.6+ operating
systems, Bonzai can store Word(TM) documents, PowerPoint(TM) presentations,
spreadsheets, digital photo and music files, and streaming audio and
video clips, providing a complete drive environment that does not
require batteries, external power or additional cables or adapters.
Bonzai is available in capacities of 64MB to 512MB. Manufacturer's
suggested retail prices are $79.95 for 64MB and $119.95 for 128MB.
For additional product information, visit www.simpletech.com/bonzai.
Aug 01 - New Study Says Poor Web Site
Performance Can Cost Millions. Poor web site performance can cost
companies millions annually in wasted marketing money, according to
a study conducted by Red Gate Software, a supplier of testing software
for web applications.
Red Gate used its ANTS (Advanced .NET Testing System) software to
simulate the experience of 500 visitors to popular corporate, travel,
shopping and search engine sites. ANTS uses patented "frustration
coefficient" and "abandonment prediction" measurements
that reflect ongoing research documenting people's emotional response
to web site delays.
The frustration coefficient is ranked 0 to 100, with 100 being the
highest level of frustration; the abandonment index is a prediction
of the percentage of people who will leave the site in frustration.
Turning Away Customers at the Web Door
"The business impact of poor web application performance goes
straight to a company's bottom line," says Simon Galbraith, Red
Gate's director of marketing and sales. "If your web site has
an abandonment prediction of 25 percent, it means you are likely to
be turning away 25 percent of your potential web customers - it's
Galbraith uses AT&T as an example. AT&T spent an estimated
$447 million in the first half of last year according to figures in
AdAge.com from research firm CMR. These ads generate web site traffic.
Yet, Red Gate's research predicts that 33 percent of those visiting
AT&T's site will abandon it because of poor performance. The frustration
coefficient is 41 as a result of long download times for accessing
web pages. Galbraith says that a frustration coefficient under 5 is
very good, but anything over 20 can have a negative business impact.
In comparison to AT&T, the study indicates that people are unlikely
to abandon Microsoft's site, even though it has a fairly high frustration
coefficient of 28. Two sites can have identical frustration coefficients,
but dramatically different abandonment predictions. That's because
sites that occasionally inflict extremely long wait times are abandoned
more frequently than those that are fairly slow all the time.
In Microsoft's case, an abandonment prediction of 0 means more bang
for the buck: For advertising that drives potential customers to the
web site, Red Gate predicts that AT&T achieved about the same
impact as Microsoft, while spending an estimated 50 percent more.
The Frustration of Booking Travel
More than 80,000 people in the United States do searches for flight
information each day. Companies such as Orbitz, Hotwire, American
Airlines and Delta Airlines are spending as much as 60 cents a person
on search engine advertising to lure visitors to their flight booking
sites. Factoring in other advertising that drives traffic to their
sites, these and other travel companies could be spending as much
as $1 for each visitor. Yet, these sites have relatively high frustration
coefficients, ranging from 25 (Orbitz) to 33 (Expedia). One quarter
of visitors to Orbitz and Expedia are predicted to abandon the sites.
Shop `Til You Drop - Literally
Just about everybody who shops online has a story of frustration
and abandonment. But, none are likely to equal those of visitors to
ShopperUK.com, a web site that sells large appliances such as refrigerators
and washing machines. According to Red Gate's measure, everyone who
uses the site is frustrated by the way it operates, and half of all
visitors are predicted to abandon it.
No Abandonment at These Portals
Search engines are guides or portals to the Internet, making them
among the most frequently visited web sites. All of the search sites
tested by Red Gate had abandonment prediction percentages of 0, but
Yahoo had a rather high frustration level of 30. According to Red
Gate, Google has earned its reputation for no-fuss searching, with
a low frustration coefficient of 11. But, Google is not exclusive
in its simplicity and fast response: Altavista, Lycos and LookSmart
all have frustration coefficients equal to or lower than Google's.
Red Gate Software (www.red-gate.com)
makes simple software that solves complex problems for developers
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